Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam have agreed to further strengthen cooperation to crack down on drug crimes and maintain security, order and social security for the mutual benefit of the three countries.
The agreement was made at the third Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam Development Triangle Area (CLV-DTA) ministerial meeting on cooperation in preventing crime, which takes place every two years between the Cambodian Ministry of Interior, Lao Ministry of Public Security and the Vietnamese Ministry of Police on January 5 via video conference, with this year’s meeting hosted by Cambodia.
A press release from the Ministry of Interior of Cambodia said on January 5 that during the meeting, Minister of Interior Sar Kheng, Lao Minister of Public Security Vilay Lakhamfong and Vietnam’s Minister of Public Security To Lam all agreed to further strengthen trilateral security cooperation in accordance with the annual trilateral cooperation plan and the memorandums of understanding signed amongst the three ministries.
“The three ministers agreed to further strengthen cooperation in the prevention of cross-border crimes, especially drugs, human trafficking, human trafficking, terrorism and technological crimes for the causes of security, order and social security to serve the mutual benefit which includes development and prosperity of the three countries,” it said.
The three ministers agreed to further enhance cooperation in combating Covid-19 and responding to natural disasters in the bordering provinces in a timely manner to protect the welfare, safety, security, and property of people in the affected areas, the press release noted.
The three nations pledged to further strengthen cooperation in regional and international forums, including during Cambodia’s chairmanship of ASEAN in 2022 and related events under the ASEAN multilateral mechanism while maintaining security to host major national and international events respectively.
The three countries agreed to urge the authorities of the bordering provinces to further hold regular meetings to exchange information and resolve issues peacefully in the border areas, as well as to promote exchanges of visits and friendship activities among local authorities in the border areas of the three countries.
The three ministers also praised cooperation between law enforcement forces and relevant authorities of the three countries in combating transnational crime and the spread of Covid-19.
Despite Covid-19, the three countries have maintained close ties and made progress in developing better security, order and social security – especially in tackling phenomena along the border – in the spirit of friendship, solidarity and mutual respect for sovereignty, said the press release.
Thong Mengdavid, research fellow at the Asian Vision Institute’s Mekong Centre for Strategic Studies, told The Post that the three countries have been strengthening CLV-DTA cooperation and in 2020 the three countries pledged to boost cooperation in the fight against human trafficking and drug trafficking along the three countries’ borders.
“Within the CLV-DTA framework, they’ve also held national meetings with relevant institutions and agreed to improve the Cross-Border Liaison Offices of the three countries in matters of exchange of information, technical matters and cross-border cooperation between the countries,” he said.
Mengdavid said that the purpose of the meetings was to combat drug trafficking and other drug-related crimes in line with the post-2025 ASEAN drug-free mechanism and the ASEAN anti-drugs goals for 2016-2025.